Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Surprises

Salut mes amis!

Joyeux Noël!  Merry Christmas! Hodel and I had a fabulous holiday together. On Christmas Eve, we decided to write letters to Père Noël asking for donations to charities instead of toys. Per usual, Hodel asked for a donation to an animal rescue. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to ask for in my letter, eventually deciding on donations for needy children in France.

When we finished our letters, we cuddled with our Uglydolls underneath the sapin de Noël and looked for a Christmas movie to watch.

We were able to watch the first of many A Christmas Story viewings on TNT - hooray! Somehow it doesn't quite seem like Christmas unless you share it with Ralphie.

Hodel's parents made us go to bed when the movie finished, but shhh! We actually ended up giggling for hours. I don't think we got much sleep at all. We were much too excited about the day ahead of us!

Sleep or no sleep, we still managed to wake up early on Christmas morning. We showered and dressed quickly, anxious to open our presents. Even though we'd asked Santa not to give us presents, Hodel's parents had given us a few things to open.

Don't we look nice? We tried to look pretty and cool, considering it was 60 degrees outside! I think Hodel was smart not to wear stockings.

Since Hodel and I got all of the same presents, we decided to unwrap everything at the same time. What did we get?

We received mystery Playmobil figurines (I got a cute old lady, while Hodel got a smart-looking flight attendant) and Disney squinkies . . .

. . . but our favorite presents by far were the baby dinosaur toys nestled in plastic eggs! We pretended to be world-famous paleontologists for hours! In a few days, we are going to see The Good Dinosaur, which we are both so excited for.

Did you have a nice holiday season? What did you do? Who did you celebrate with? What presents did you receive?

Ton amie,

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Sophie: Live from Cincinnati!

Salut mes amis!

I'm sorry that it has been so long since my last update. There's really no good excuse. Lately, depression and anxiety have hit me hard, and between that and keeping up with my schoolwork, I've neglected my blog. There have been many days where I've not wanted to get dressed, let alone go out for adventures.

In early December, things started looking up. My classes were finishing for the semester, and who isn't thrilled about that? I'd also received an email from my friend Hodel, asking me if I'd like to visit. Hodel and I have been pen-pals for a long time, but we've never formally met! She was actually the last traveling guest my old school in America hosted, but I was out on travel adventures of my own at the time. So, of course, I said YES! I would be happy to visit. It didn't take me long to pack a few belongings in my bag and reserve a plane ticket. I think Juliette was a little sad that I was leaving again, especially since it meant that we wouldn't be celebrating our special Polish-French Christmas together. However, I was itching to be rid of this foggy, depressive stupor I'd been in for the past few months, so I really couldn't consider my sister's feelings at the moment. I had to take care of myself. I had to go see the world, meet new people, and have an adventure . . . because that is what Sophie does best!

My anxiety kicked in on the plane ride and wouldn't go away even as I was knocking on my friend's front door. I hadn't traveled solo since 2011, when I went on a cruise to Alaska with my friend Marsali. Four years have passed, and a lot has happened. When I got home from Alaska, I wasn't sure I wanted to travel ever again. I certainly didn't want to travel for two years without coming home in between. That was fun while it lasted, but was way too much hassle in the process. But as I heard the familiar scuffling of feet rushing to open the door, all of my anxiety turned into excitement! I was finally going to meet another long-time friend, and what could be scary about that?

The door opened, and Hodel stood before me. "Salut!" I waved excitedly. Stepping inside of the house, I immediately ran up and gave my friend a hug. If I was nervous before, I certainly wasn't now!

We sat down and talked about some of our favorite things and pastimes. We talked about Hodel's love of acting and all of our favorite shows. I'm no actress, but I love watching a good performance! Hodel also loves anthropology, dinosaurs, and most importantly, traveling! She had just gotten home from a trip to Disney World, so of course I had to ask if she'd gotten to meet Queen Elsa and Princess Anna!

Since Hodel is Jewish, I wanted to bring her a little gift for Hanukkah. Unfortunately, I arrived after Hanukkah was over, but it's the thought that counts . . . right?

I think she liked what I picked out for her. I helped her name the little duck "Fransisco", a name we found too funny not to laugh at! I also gave her two of my favorite card games: UNO and Apples to Apples. Hodel saw these and dared to ask whether I'd played Cards Against Humanity. I blushed, but admitted that I hadn't! I have, however, played Fantastic Storytelling, a new game along the lines of Cards Against Humanity. I suggest you check it out if you like that sort of thing. Mike Jeavons will thank you. It's fun, addicting, and you get to create unique laugh-out-loud stories!

Anyway, it's late . . . and already Christmas Eve! I better get to bed. Although Hodel is Jewish, her family is interfaith, meaning that they will make an extra effort to celebrate Christmas with me this year. So . . . we have a lot of plans, which I can't wait to share with you! Stay tuned!

If I don't write an entry beforehand, Joyeux Noël! Merry Christmas! What are your plans for Christmas this year? If you don't celebrate Christmas, what do you celebrate instead?

Ton amie,


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